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Bulls Abroad: Oyongo's Cameroon drawn with Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Mali in Africa Cup of Nations Group Stage

AFCON 2015's Group D doesn't look easy, but that has a lot to do with the fact Ambroise Oyongo's Cameroon is in it.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It is not certain Ambroise Oyongo will be playing in January's Africa Cup of Nations - the squads don't need to be named until early January, and even if he makes Cameroon's 23 he is by no means a shoo-in to start - but the draw for the group stage has been completed, so we do know who his team will be up against in the tournament.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) ranked the 16 qualifiers for AFCON 2015 using a system that combined performances in the last three continental tournaments, the qualifiers for the upcoming competition, and the qualifying tournament for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Put that all together and you end up with Cameroon in the third tier of the competitor nations for AFCON 2015. Nonetheless, the draw was relatively kind to the Indomitable Lions. The top-ranked team in their group, Ivory Coast, is also the team they beat into second place in their final qualifying group. Guinea and Mali each needed wins in the final game of qualifying to sneak into this tournament. No team in the group looks like a pushover, but this includes the rebuilding Lions, fresh off an unbeaten qualifying campaign.

The last-placed team in the 2014 World Cup can consider itself a legitimate contender to win its AFCON group.

The full draw for AFCON 2015 is as follows:

Group A

Equatorial Guinea



Burkina Faso

Group B


DR Congo

Cape Verde


Group C



South Africa


Group D

Ivory Coast




On paper, Group C looks the toughest: an enthralling combination of four of the top 12 African nations, per the current FIFA rankings (Algeria, currently the top-ranked African nation by FIFA was in CAF's bottom tier for the draw).

But Cameroon's Group D isn't far behind. If Oyongo makes the final 23 (and as a starter for five of the Lions' six qualifying matches, he is among the favorites to get a call for January), he'll join a squad that has a right to be confident, but will expect to be well tested.

In other news tangentially affecting RBNY players (ish - he'll only be back in 2015 if the Red Bulls can renegotiate his contract), Ibrahim Sekagya's Uganda is the subject of a match-fixing investigation, launched by its own governing body.

The investigation is in response to widespread public outcry at the Cranes' limp performance in its final qualifying match: a 2-0 loss to Guinea in Morocco, after the team had hauled itself back into contention for AFCON 2015 by unexpectedly beating Ghana in its previous game.

Sekagya was not present in Morocco for the game, and was called up for the qualifiers in question merely to provide inspiration to the current Uganda players.

He is not in any way under suspicion, though perhaps his presence in the squad for the Ghana game was of greater positive influence than might have previously been imagined. Whether his absence for the following match sapped the players' motivation, or emboldened those who might seek to induce footballers to compromise their integrity, Uganda simply wasn't very good against Guinea.